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CHECKUP EXCESSIVE BACTERIA, ANTIBIOTICS IN CHICKEN.

Byline: - Staff and wire reports

About half the chicken purchased in stores and supermarkets nationwide is tainted with bacteria most commonly associated with food poisoning, according to a survey of 25 metropolitan areas released last week by Consumer Reports.

The magazine's tests also indicated that the massive amounts of antibiotics fed to the chickens apparently are making humans increasingly resistant to antibiotic medications. Ninety percent of the contaminated chickens carried a strain of bacteria that showed resistance to at least one antibiotic.

``One in five victims of food poisoning is now resistant to the most common group of antibiotics (fluoroquinolone) used to treat the illness,'' said Dr. Sherwood Gorback, an infectious-disease specialist at Tufts University.

On the positive side, Consumer Reports found a drop in contamination rates from five years ago when three-quarters of the poultry tested was contaminated. The proper cooking of the meat and handling of utensils coming in contact with raw chicken can avoid infection.

TEAM APPROACH TO DEPRESSION: Older Americans suffering from depression need more than a diagnosis and a prescription, according to a new study. Researchers at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and other sites around the country found that a team approach to depression more than doubles the effectiveness of treatment for Americans over age 60.

For a year, researchers followed 1,801 participants diagnosed with depression in California, Indiana, North Carolina, Texas and Washington. Half of the patients received team care in which specially trained nurses or psychologists collaborated with the primary care doctor. Under the team care model, called Improving Mood: Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment (IMPACT), collaborators tracked side effects and symptoms, assisted in changes of treatment and provided counseling, education and support.

About half of those assigned to team care reported a 50 percent or greater reduction in depression symptoms at the end of one year, compared with 19 percent of those in traditional care. Of the 31 million Americans age 65 and older, nearly 5 million experience symptoms of depression. For more information, visit www.impact.ucla.edu.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 16, 2002
Words:338
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